Wednesday, 3 August 2011

So You Want To Be An Apologist For Islam

Important note:
If you were looking for the Christian Apologists' Handbook you've got the wrong one. You need So You Want To Be An Apologist For Christianity. Some of the words a slightly different and you don't want to find you've promoted the wrong god by mistake, do you.
So you’ve decided to be an internet apologist for Islam.

You’re going to come up against a lot of people with facts, logic, reason, complicated arguments, and evidence; people who’ve studied the Qur’an; people who’ve even studied science and maybe have degrees from universities.

Have no fear. None of this should bother you if you use the following guide:

First, the Qur’an is inerrant. Remember that! The Qur’an is the inerrant word of Allah the all-knowing so it can’t be wrong. It’s inerrant. Cling to that in the face of all arguments, evidence and reason. These must all be wrong because the Qur’an is inerrant, otherwise Allah wouldn’t have said it was in the inerrant Qur’an.

If you ever admit the Qur’an could be even the tiniest bit wrong, your whole faith will be destroyed, so never, ever admit to a contradiction or that something in the Qur’an has ever been shown to be wrong. Never!

Understand?

NEVER!

Never answer a direct question with a direct answer. It’s probably a trap. You can recognise these traps because the questions will have words like ‘why’, ‘who’, ‘what’, ’when’, ‘where’ and ‘how’. The important thing is not to give your opponent something to check because it might be wrong.

Tricks you can use are:
  • Ask another question to change the subject.

  • Refuse to answer the question until your opponent has answered yours.

  • Ignore the answer.

  • Accuse your opponent of not answering your question.

  • Tell your opponent you’re not wasting your time on someone who won’t answer your questions.

  • Tell your opponent that you have won the argument because he/she couldn't answer your question.


Two questions should never be answered at all, ever:
  • What evidence would you accept as disproving Allah?

  • What evidence would you accept as proof of evolution?


Never EVER take the risk that the evidence you say you’ll accept may be provided.

Change the subject as soon as possible or break off the discussion with a departing “I’ll pray for you”, or some such phrase. And remember: Allah exists so NOTHING could disprove him; evolution is false so NOTHING can prove it. Got that?

Only as a last resort should you answer a question, but remember to say your opponent hasn’t understood the answer when they point out your answer has nothing to do with their question.

When faced with a Qur’an verse in which Allah is telling people to do something wrong, like committing genocide, killing your daughter, etc., you have several choices:
  • Say it’s moral to do those because Allah told Mohammed it is.

  • Say it’s allegorical. Always remember that, even though the Qur’an is the literal word of Allah, that doesn’t mean it’s always literal. It can still be allegorical. If your opponent asks how you know which is which, be condescending and say it’s because you have submitted to the will of Allah. It’s not your fault if they’ve rejected Allah’s bountiful... whatever springs to mind. This will make you feel superior and may make your opponent angry. Allah will appreciate it too.

  • You can use the allegorical excuse for any part of the Qur’an you can’t explain, don’t understand or hadn’t read and have been caught out with.

  • If none of these work, say the Arabic meaning in the Qur’an is different and translation has changed it. No, that doesn’t make it wrong; it means your opponent is too ignorant/stupid/lacking in Allah’s bountiful... whatever. Always blame your opponent.


Sooner or later, usually sooner, the conversation will turn to evolution. This will normally be because you’ve changed the subject to avoid a difficult or embarrassing question and have said the first thing you thought of, like, “So you worship Charles Dawking and believe your grandfather was a monkey.”

When discussing evolution it’s best to stick to the usual parodies of evolution because they are easier to attack and you can accuse your opponent of believing something really absurd that no sane person would believe, so getting that lovely warm, fluffy, pink feeling of superiority. And you don’t have to bother with learning any biology.

You can find plenty of these parodies of evolution theory and other science at the AiG website. They specialise in making up things for Christian Creationists and apologists to mislead people with but you should be able to use most of their stuff as long as you remember to change the words "Bible" to "Qur'an", "Jesus" to "Muhammad" and "God" to "Allah".

Always remember not to learn any real biology or any other science because it may make you doubt your unshakeable faith and you don’t want to start debating real science with people who know about it, so only the easily attacked parodies. Best stay away from the real thing. Far too risky.

Practice the names, Charles Darwin, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking as they are easily confused and you will be using them often. Einstein will crop up quite often and his name can be a little tricky too. If you can at least spell their names people might think you know what you are talking about, which is always useful in a discussion, especially with people who probably DO know what they're talking about.

On the subject of spelling, try to remember it’s ‘Holy Qur’an’ not ‘Holey Koren’ or ‘Holly Quorn’.

Remember a few key phrases and use them often:
  • If evolution is true why are there still monkeys?

  • Evolution is just a theory – a guess with no evidence.

  • Micro-evolution is possible but not macro (don’t try to explain this one, just keep asserting it!)

  • There is no evidence for evolution. Be prepared to be given lots of evidence at this point so you’ll need to ignore it and dismiss it as ‘not evidence’. Don’t follow those links!

  • No monkey ever gave birth to a human/No human ever gave birth to a monkey.

  • Why are there no crocoduck/half men-half monkeys?

  • Why do we never see transitional fossils? (Remember, fossils in museums don’t count and a lot of them are plaster copies – stick to that at all costs). If ever you’re shown a series of fossils, point out that there are no fossils in the gaps between them.

  • Charles Darwin recanted on his death bed. His daughter’s denial of that and the evidence that Lady Hope wasn’t even present is a lie. Anyway, Darwin is now a Creationist because he converted after death, so even if that IS a lie it might as well not be.

  • Charles Darwin was a friend of Karl Marx and so evolution is communist and communism is Darwinism.

  • Evolution is impossible because information can’t be created. (Don’t get involved in this one, just assert it...)

  • The second law of thermodynamics means evolution is impossible. (Never try to explain why; it involves complicated stuff like entropy). Practice spelling thermodynamics so it looks like you understand it.

  • No new species have ever been seen to arise. (Dismiss the inevitable long list of new species as ‘not new species, just varieties’. If need be, redefine the term ‘species’ to win this one. Change the subject as soon as you can).


Have a list of questions you keep asking every few days. If possible, remember who you were debating with and ask them the same questions every few weeks.

Ignore the answers; they’re just trying to put you off your ‘faith’.

When given a link to an article which answers your question, don’t follow it. Instead, insist your opponent answers the question. Say you’re not going to do their research for them. Don’t read the article; you know it’ll be wrong or will be trying to mislead you.

On Twitter, demand a complete answer in 140 characters explaining the whole of human evolution in detail. Or ask for the complete history of the universe.

You will also need a list of standard ‘arguments’ against the Big Bang? The following is a useful list but you should add more as you think of them:
  • How could life evolve in a ball of poisonous gasses in the Big Bang?

  • You can’t make something from nothing so Allah must have done it. (Under no circumstances admit that this also means Allah couldn’t have come from nothing, or created a universe from nothing either. If you do, you’ll lose!)

  • It says in the Qur’an that Allah created everything so it must be true because Allah doesn’t tell lies.

  • The universe might look like it’s billions of years old but that’s just to test our faith/Satan did it to drive us away from Allah’s bountiful bosom... or something.

  • You can’t prove Allah doesn’t exist. (See below for more fallacious arguments you can use).


When you run out of arguments against science, change the subject to morality.

Ask your opponent to explain where morals came from. Ignore the answers and claim Atheists are immoral and can’t be trusted because they don’t know why it’s wrong to kill, rape, rob banks, etc.

When told that there is a long history of Muslims killing and raping, say Stalin and Mao were Atheists. (You could try saying Hitler was an Atheist too but the risk here is that your opponent might know that he was a Christian and was supported by a lot of Muslims, and they may have some links to historical data proving it, so exercise caution).

Remember. None of the people who killed and waged genocide in the name of Mohammed and Islam were real Muslims even though you probably wouldn’t be Muslim if it wasn’t for them. Hold onto this one. It’ll serve you well in difficult corners.

Don’t be slow to mention Stalin, Mao or even Hitler because the unwritten rule of on-line debate says that the first one to do so wins the argument.

As a final resort, it’s okay to try a disguised threat. Something like, “I hope you like it HOT when you die!” or, “You’ll believe when you’re roasting in HELL!”

The following is useful list of general techniques you can use:

  • Use argumentum ad nauseum (or last one standing) – just keep saying the same thing over and over again until no one answers you. Then you will have won.

  • Have the last word. Just like in a football game where the last player to leave the field is the winner, you will win by having the last word. Don’t worry what it is, so long as it’s the last one.

  • Claim you have answered every single question in full and none of your claims have been refuted. There may be new people in the audience and they may believe you.

  • Ignore every answer and claim it hasn’t been given. It’s best to wait several days when using Twitter because the answers you’re ignoring might still be visible but you can use this if you have to and just hope no one checks.

  • Use ad hominem. Things like saying your opponent must be insane/stupid/evil/a Satanist/a Stalinist/a Communist/a Christian/a Jew, etc.

  • Accuse your opponent of resorting to ad hominem when they point out that your argument isn’t logical, doesn’t make sense, is factually incorrect or has been refuted long ago. You can also accuse them of being an arrogant elitist when they use complicated science or information they’ve learned through study or by reading books.

  • Remember, you are doing Allah’s work, so anything is permitted because Allah is above human morality. Allah appreciates it when you sacrifice personal integrity for him so don’t worry about that. You’re scoring lots of Brownie points here.

  • When asked a really difficult question wait several days then answer a different, easier one. Claim you answered the one asked and blame your opponent for not understanding the answer.

  • When you’ve been given a really clever answer or been asked a really hard question (this will happen a lot so be ready for it) break off the discussion – urgent shopping trip is a good excuse – then wait several days and suddenly come back on line and demand the ‘answer to my question’. Don’t say what the question was or give any clue to when you asked it. The chances are your opponent won’t be on line so you can follow up with a series of triumphal messages claiming to have won. Remember to copy in your friends so they can re-post them for you and call your opponent names. Imagine how devastated your opponent will be when they next log on.

  • Type ‘FACT!!’ after a statement, especially if you’re not sure about it and think it might not be true. This guarantees any reader will think it’s true anyway.

  • Always claim to have ‘masses of evidence’ for Allah. Never ever say exactly what that evidence is but say your opponent is deliberately ignoring it/must be blind/must be stupid/hasn’t been save by Allah’s bountiful... er... thingy, and you’ll “pray for him/her”.

  • Alternatively, give a list of things like sun rise, sun set, bird song, a baby’s cry, Fall in New Hampshire, a Beethoven Symphony, etc, etc, and claim they are proof of Allah. Never explain why.

  • Ask your opponent why they are so angry and/or upset. This might persuade some of the audience that your opponent really IS angry and/or upset. You will also get that nice warm feeling of smugly condescending superiority.

  • Ask your opponent if they were abused as a child and feel let down by Allah. Be sympathetic. This will make you look like someone who cares. It will make you feel superior and make it more likely that you get away with some of the tricks you’ll be using – for Allah, remember, so not dishonest or immoral. Remember those Brownie points...

  • Pretend to be a child – somewhere between 8 and 12 years old is favourite. People tend to allow for childish mistakes and silly arguments. This gives Muslim apologists a particularly strong advantage. If you’re using apologetics to make money, say you’ll use it to buy a university education or to pay for your mother’s/cousin’s cancer treatment or to provide shelter for the homeless, etc. This can be a particularly rewarding trick if you can pull it off, scooping gifts of hundreds or even thousands, tax-free, at a time.

  • Pretend to be too stupid to understand an argument. This works on Atheists because they think stupidity is some sort of divine gift which hides a deeper kind of wisdom. Anyway, it'll frustrate your opponent and may even make them either angry or patronising so you can use that against them.


Lastly, here is a list of useful fallacies you can usually rely on. No, it isn’t ‘wrong’ to use fallacies because you’re doing Allah’s work and he is above human morality. Think of it as a sacrifice which Allah will forgive you for because you did it for him.

Anyway, you can always say sorry to Allah later.

Allah of the Gaps. This is when you have a gap in your knowledge and claim no-one knows so it must have been Allah. You can even create gaps if you need to by claiming science can’t explain things that have been explained.

Allah of Personal Necessity. This is when you argue that Allah must exist because life would be meaningless/purposeless, etc without one. You can even say there must be a Allah because otherwise there would be no after-life and you don’t like the thought of death.

The Numbers Fallacy. This is where you argue that Allah must exist because x billion people can’t be wrong. Of course, even more people who don’t believe in your Allah can be wrong but you don’t meet them very often and they’re mostly foreigners anyway.

The Appeal to Authority. Allah MUST exists because person x wrote a book saying he does, or “all historians agree Allah inspired Mohammed to write the Qur’an/accept Mohammed was a real person”. The good thing about this trick is that you don’t have to produce any evidence and can just tell your opponent to read what they’ve said.

Faith. Say your faith tells you Allah exists and you rely on faith more than evidence because faith is a gift from Allah but evidence can be misleading. Allah must exist if you believe in him, otherwise you wouldn’t believe in him. You’re probably wondering why no one else can see the logic here.

The Shifted Burden. Insisting your opponent proves Allah doesn’t exist or else he does exist. Note: this argument ONLY applies to arguments you want to win.  It obviously can’t be used to prove a false god exists, or Harry Potter, or Spaghetti Monsters, or that there are bears round the corner waiting for you to step on the cracks.

And that’s about it really. Keep this guide handy and you can take on anyone in on-line discussions.  And never worry about being laughed at.

You are right and all the others are wrong.





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8 comments :

  1. Wow Rosa! That took a lot of work and its glorious! This is the Allah equivalent of Dawkins' "The God Delusion".

    One thing I would add is the concept of lying for Allah. This can take two forms, taqiyya and kitman. These should both be used because the infidels are gullible and they will naturally think that you are being honest and open with them.

    http://somethingsurprising.blogspot.com/2011/07/taqiyya-lying-for-islam.html

    Another small thing is that you should preface all your comments about the prophet with phrases like "Peace and Blessings be upon him" because (whatever you might have heard) infidels respect that very highly. They also have a strange affinity for people who shout out "Allahu akbah" very loudly. These two truths of Islam never fail to impress.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Plasma - Thanks.

    The intention was that this blog is almost identical with its sister blog "So You've Decided To Be An Apologist For Christianity" so I'd need a 'Christian' version of those.

    Any ideas? :-)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Even though I am a big fan of your work, I must say that this post seems a bit unfair to me. I will not contest that Islam has been a very violent religion over the last 100 years, but I will say that many if not all of your points could be applied to any other God of any other religion. So why single out Islam rather than just talk of organized religion as a whole? Could you link your answer to twitter and send it to @theabsenceofgod so that I can see your point of view on the matter?
    Thanks again and keep up the good work,
    The Atheist Crusader

    ReplyDelete
  4. The Atheist Crusader.

    You may have missed the sister blog "So You've Decided To Be An Apologist For Christianity". A few of the words are different to this one; words like 'God' for 'Allah' and 'Bible' for 'Qur'an'.

    There was a reason for that.

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a great article! I'm going to be posting about it on my fanpage.

    ReplyDelete
  6. thegoodatheist.

    Thanks. Don't forget the sister blog - So You've Decided to be an Apologist for Christianity.

    ReplyDelete
  7. what nonsense is this? just changed Christianity with Islam and rest of the content is same? this is called Plagiarism of self. you should sue yourself for stealing your own idea. ;)

    ReplyDelete

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